The Joplin R-8 Board of Education voted 5-1, with Debbie Fort casting the dissenting vote, Tuesday to go into long-term debt to cover $8 million in what CFO Paul Barr referred to at the May board meeting as "might-as-well" spending."
The Joplin Globe reporter attended that meeting and never wrote a word about the things that Barr said were covered by this "might-as-well" spending, which included the following:
-Four tennis courts
-Lighting for all athletic fields
-Artificial turf for all athletic fields
-A track at the high school so the students would not have to travel to Junge Stadium
These items were never mentioned in the Globe article about that meeting.
As the Turner Report noted in the coverage of this Tuesday's meeting, when the long-term financing was brought up again, there was no mention of "might-as-well" spending and suddenly the $8 million was not for any athletic items.
Debbie Fort mentioned the tennis courts, or athletics would have been totally left out of the equation.
The cover-up had already begun.
The discussion was not featured in the Joplin Globe's article about the meeting in its Wednesday edition, but the long-term financing is the subject of an article that will be in Saturday's edition and has already been posted on the Globe's website.
Reporter Emily Younker writes the following:
Examples of projects that will be paid through the funds are additional square footage at the high school, East Middle School, and Soaring Heights Elementary School; the mitigation of mining-related problems uncovered during construction at the high school and Irving Elementary school sites, with set the district back about $6 million; and upgrades of building materials, such as roofing and heating/cooling systems, said Paul Barr, chief financial officer.
That was not what Paul Barr said at the May meeting, a meeting which is shown on the accompanying video.
Apparently, the official story is that no athletic projects are involved in the long-term debt and no such thing as "might-as-well" spending exists.
Better check out the video before someone gives the order to edit it.
We sure won't ever hear about it from the Joplin Globe.